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Is former Nepal monarch planning a comeback?

world Updated: Jun 21, 2013 00:24 IST
Utpal Parashar

It's this month five years ago when Nepal's king Gyanendra Shah left his palace following abolition of the country's 239-year-old monarchy by a newly elected parliament.

And as the country gears for parliamentary polls after failure of constituent assembly to draft a new constitution, the 66-year-old is making headlines because of his political comments.

On Wednesday, Shah, who's on an extensive religious tour of the Terai region, delivered his first address. In his speech, Shah spoke about the political crisis after dissolution of the constituent assembly and handing over of power by political parties to an interim government headed by the chief justice. According to reports, the gathering kept shouting slogans like "raja aau, desh bachau" (king come, save the nation).

The former king's tours and remarks have led some to surmise he might be planning a political comeback and is seeking public support for such a move.

Though there's very slim possibility of monarchy returning to Nepal, Shah still enjoys support of a section of the Hindu majority population who view him as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There is a view that if he wants to join politics Shah could float his own party or use the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party, which wants restoration of monarchy, as his comeback vehicle.